A quick update on what mobile networks have done so far to help people report cases of over-blocking.
Since we published our report 'Mobile Internet censorship: what's happening and what to do about it', jointly with LSE Media Policy project, a number of people have been in touch with us asking what to do if they discover their site is blocked incorrectly by mobile networks' child protection filters.
The first thing to do - of course...! - is to submit the site to Blocked.org.uk, which we are using to keep track of how much 'over-blocking' is happening on UK mobile networks.
But if you are responsible for a site and have found it is blocked, you will also want to get in touch with the mobile networks concerned to check that it is blocked on their network and to get the site removed from the filters so everybody can access it again.
One of the points in our report was that it can be too difficult to do this - you can read about Coadec's problems trying to get their site removed from Orange's Safeguard on their blog.
The mobile networks have told us they are working on improving the way that these reports can be made, which is great. I wanted to do a quick update on progress so far. So I asked the networks what the best way to get in touch with them about this would be. If you are trying to contact the operators to get your site unblocked, here's what the networks offer at the moment:
We really want to keep track on how you get on reporting mistakes and misclassifications, and how the networks deal with them. So please let us know your experiences, either in the comments below or by emailing me.
For the moment, Vodafone have asked that these requests go to this email address: email@example.com
They are planning to have a more specific address available soon.
Orange and T-Mobile
Everything Everywhere have set up an email address that will be directed to the 'Safeguard Product Manager', who will handle reports of misclassification. The email address to use is firstname.lastname@example.org and can be used for reports relating to both Orange and T-Mobile.
O2 have a useful URL checker, which also allows people to check sites' classification - which says whether and why a site is blocked - and to report if they consider the site to be classified incorrectly.
They also suggest letting them know via Twitter (@O2) or through their online forums (forum.o2.co.uk)
Three told us their official position at the moment is: "if a Three customer believes a website is being incorrectly blocked then they should call our Customer Services team. We are currently reviewing how best customers can contact us to report these concerns."
They are working on improving the reporting mechanism, and I'll be asking them today how a non-Three customer can notify them of a block. I'll update this post when I've heard back.